The Blessing of Death

3 Jan

Fortunately for me, I have not recently had this “blessing” affect my life in an immediate way. In fact, I think that such thoughts are impossible to flesh out when that is the case. That is because as humans we feel attachment to this flesh that has been attached to us. We may understand that there is, in fact, an afterlife, but that belief has difficultly permeating our lives. Further, while we may be able to accept it in a personal way, this is almost impossible to accept when thinking about others.

I think the primary reason for this is that we are selfish enough to want the people we like to be around us all the time. When someone leaves this earth, we struggle with the promises that they could be in a better place and are knowledgeable only of our own loneliness. This missing and longing for someone we lost, however, is very real, so it is understandable that we normally think of Death as an extremely negative thing. But today, I came to a new realization.

I have been challenged this year to read the Bible through this year. And I have joined this accountability group. As I was reading Genesis 3, I was reminded of our post-curse world. “Cursed is the ground for your sake.” “Thorns, also, and thistles shall it bring forth to thee.” God, in His justice, even in pronouncing His severest sentence, tempers His justice with great patience and long-suffering, as he is “Not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” We sing in the song Joy to the World about the Consummation of the Kingdom, where we say “No more let sins and sorrows grow, Nor thorns infest the ground!”

But we live in the pre-consummation world where there are sins, sorrows, and thorns. And God, in His infinite mercy, limits our time in this world. It is truly a blessing to not be kept in this world for an eternity. Adam had been eating fruit of the many trees of Paradise, whereas now we must eat “the herb of the field.” We were lowered from royal dainties to common fare, but it would have been horrible for us to be incapable of death—and so to continue forever in a sinful world!

And while those in the pre-Flood world lived over 900 years in some cases, I am glad that Genesis 6:3 kind of puts the kibosh on that. Now this clearly does not make the death of others any easier, but it does allow me to, like Paul, understand that the reality is death is a blessing. It is by passing through death that we come out into the realm of perfectness.

And I am thankful for this Blessing of death. I know how precious it is to pass from this life. While I do struggle with death when it happens, I am hoping to be excited in this renewed understanding of how great a gift removal from this life is. And while I truly enjoy my life, and I hope that my life is as long as can be, I hope to not be fearful of death and recognize it as ultimately a gift of God.

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One Response to “The Blessing of Death”

  1. Jenni March 15, 2012 at 2:09 am #

    "…from royal dainties to common fare…" I hope that when I die, I get your vocabulary. 🙂 As always, this post was great!

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